WESLP2933.qxp (Page 1)

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WESLP2933.qxp (Page 1)
food
restaurantreview
Champor Champor
Southwark
T
★ ★ ★★ ★
UCKED away round the corner from
The Shard in an area that’s becoming
increasingly expensive to eat out is
Champor Champor. The name
translates as ‘‘mix and match’ in
Malaysian, reflecting the Malaysian
and Thai-combination menu full of
firm favourites. A homely restaurant so distinctive
in style that it almost seems out of place in the
City where identikit décoration seems to be
winning the interior designers’ hearts time and
again. The place is traditional in a south-east
Asian kind of a way: lots of dark wood creating an
intimate atmosphere, native textiles and
sculptures and ornaments no doubt intended to
transport the diner to one of two homelands.
Raised above the main restaurant, the
mezzanine offers a romantic table for two for ultimate privacy. The only caveat is that a minimum
of three courses must be ordered, though tea,
coffee or a digestive may be taken in lieu of
dessert. At the other end of the scale, there is
also a private room
holding groups of up to 10.
My visit on a midweek lunchtime saw a scramble for the last available table, though a
wait wouldn’t have been too much of a
problem with office worker diners rushing through their hour-long lunch
breaks.
The lunchtime menu is fast,
interesting and, above all, cheap.
Malaysian chicken curry wonton with
coriander coconut chutney (£4.95) was
a new one on me but its selfexplanatory nature caught my eye, as
did the idea of a starter for under a
fiver in central London. A great discovery,
combining mid-heat curry flavours with
the sweetness of coconut. Personally,
a hotter curry would have been welcome but it was still a solid flavour
combination.
My dining companion, who was
responsible for introducing me to
Champor Champor, ordered satay chicken and he
was clearly delighted by the inclusion of lemon
grass and the crunchy peanut sauce, again for
just under £5.
I noticed a few Vietnamese dishes thrown in for
good measure, including fresh salad rolls suitable
for vegans. Crispy duck with roti and hoisin
(£7.50) would certainly have gotten my vote had it
been later in the day but seemed a bit on the
heavy side for a lunchtime starter. Golden
crunchy prawns with sweet and sour sauce
completed the list of five available starters – each
and every one a crowd pleaser.
with Paloma Lacy
Champor chomper
m0137/C
m0136//C
DELICIOUS: food inspired
from Malaysia on offer m0138/C
The menu is straightforward. For the main
course it’s a choice between “something with
rice”, wok noodles and noodle soup. For me it
was the tried and tested phad thai – rice noodles
stir-fried with chicken, egg, beansprouts in
tamarind sauce, garnished with ground peanuts
and lime (£7.95). Not very adventurous of me but
my locale is seriously lacking a decent Thai
restaurant so I couldn’t resist. My friend went for
a noodle soup main – laksa – spicy coconut soup
with udon noodles, chicken, crispy tofu,
beansprouts, chili oil and crispy shallots (£7.95).
There are loads of firm favourites – green and red
curries from Thailand, beef rending from Malaysia
but with a few curve balls from elsewhere on the
continent thrown in, teriyaki chicken – deep fried
breaded chicken with a sticky glaze – which last
time I looked was from Japan.
Also of note was spaghetti green prawn curry –
stir fried spaghetti with prawns and vegetables in a
Thai green curry sauce (£8.95). Lighter bites are
available, Tom Yum Goong – hot and sour prawn
newsbites
Juicy burgers
This summer, experience the brand
new Burger Shack at The Windmill in
Clapham, combining juicy burgers
and chilled craft beers while relaxing
al fresco on the pub’s newly
refurbished terrace – surrounded by
the gorgeous greenery of the
Common. Watch your burger sizzle
and smoke as it’s cooked to order
from the corrugated iron Burger
Shack decorated with old British
artwork and graffiti. Choose between
four burgers including the chilli pulled
pork and veggie.
Takeaway picnic menu
main course, slow roasted belly of
pork with salsa verde, new potatoes,
mange tout and two types of salad.
Chocolate brownie with English
strawberries and cream complete the
package as dessert. The picnic costs
£45, which also includes the wicker
hamper, and during the first two
weeks, they’ll even throw in a bottle
of wine.
Time to pick up your hamper from the
restaurant, just a stone’s throw from
Blackheath Common for that perfect
summer picnic.
Food festival
The Waterloo Food Festival is back
Blackheath brasserie Chapters is
from July 1 to 31 with a packed
launching a special takeaway picnic
programme of events and offers
menu for two from June 1. The three- showcasing the vibrant mix of food
course meal includes a selection of
and drink venues to be found in SE1.
charcuterie with piccalilli, shredded
Headline events include: evening
salt beef, green bean, frisée salad
food fair on Thursday, July 2;
with mustard dressing, large green
Outdoor Cocktail making & tasting
olives and bread with houmous. For
event on Thursday, July 16; Waterloo
Family Fete on Saturday, July 18;
Waterloo World Showcase on
Thursday July 30.
More information about the festival
can be found at
www.wearewaterloo.co.uk
Valentina opens
As of last week the Italians have
arrived as it marks the grand opening
of Valentina on Shad Thames.
The delicatessen, restaurant and café
will be the flagship store, adding to a
chain that stretches across Southwest London.
Bull makeover
It’s all change at The Bull, in
Streatham High Road, with its new
refurbishment and the arrival of its al
fresco burger shack.
Formerly known as the Pied Bull, this
historical pub has received what has
been described as a “beautiful
makeover”.
soup, made using lemongrass, galangal, lime
leaves and a touch of chilli paste (£4.95) and Tom
Kha Gai – chicken and coconut soup. Salad lovers
will be satisfied with any of the following: green
papaya, crispy tofu and pomegranate somtam with
roasted cashew nuts, chicken satay salad with
crispy onions and peanut sauce, and crispy soft
shell crab with herbs and Vietnamese dressing.
● Paloma was not a guest of Champor
Champor. 62-64 Weston Street, London SE1
3QJ. Tel: 020 7403 4600